Budleigh's elderly residents urged to take part in mobility research

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:14 08 August 2017

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Researchers from Exeter University are looking for 250 people over the age of 65 to take part.

Elderly residents in Budleigh Salterton are being recruited to take part in a major national research programme designed to test ways of helping them live independent lives for longer.

Researchers at the University of Exeter are looking to recruit 250 people over the age of 65 who are experiencing minor mobility problems to take part in the programme.

Research leader Professor Colin Greaves said: “We are looking for people aged 65 and above, ideally people who have started to experience some mobility issues, such as problems with walking, or feeling wobbly when coming down stairs.

“In Bath and Exeter, where the trial has already started, we are seeing some very positive results, and we’re hoping to roll that out to Budleigh Salterton.”

The project, known as Retirement in Action, or REACT, involves either taking part in a weekly programme of personalised exercises or attending a social and education programme.

Mr Greaves said Budleigh was chosen due to the opportunity provided by the health and welling hub being developed at the town’s former hospital site by Westbank Community Health.

The scheme, due to begin in October this year, will be provided at the new hub, which is due to open its doors next month.

REACT is looking to recruit participants for the project now, and activities will take place every week for a year, so people will need to live close by.

Mr Greaves added: “We are looking for people who have already started to feel some problems with mobility or stiffness of the joints.

“We don’t want anyone too fit – our programme is designed for those who are not doing regular exercise, not people who are already walking a mile or more every day.

“However, to take part, people must be able to walk at least 100 yards unaided.

“We develop exercises for people on a very personal basis, and a programme suited to them individually.”

Anyone who over the age of 65 who has problems getting up from a chair and is interested in taking part should ring Jessica Bollen on 01392 726049 or email j.bollen@exeter.ac.uk

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